Author Topic: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation  (Read 1218 times)

Offline kothmann

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2022, 08:38:59 AM »
Sounds good.  We’ll patiently await the first release of 1B & 2!

Offline DIN0

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2022, 09:04:40 AM »
I have added the link to the download page to the opening post, so anyone can find it more quickly.

Offline DIN0

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2022, 10:42:00 AM »
Hello, I am back with some new stuff to demonstrate the power of the game notation  :gray-meeple:
I have decided to make a series of game analyses based on the example transcripts included in the notation manual. I will try to publish one analysis per week. Note that most of these games are my games from BoardGameArena (BGA) and the performance has varying levels of quality. These analyses explore tactical decisions and potential improvements as well as the play of the opponents. This is game analysis 1/5 (as a heads up, we shall look at the Slovak championsip finals in the 5/5, so stay tuned :(y)).

The following transcript can be found on page 25 of the notation manual. Few minor mistakes have been found, each of them are now documented in the errata (in the opening post) and will be implemented once the updated notation manual is released. An interesting note to make is that while I was reconstructing the game for this analysis, I somehow totally forgot which player I was and so I originally looked at the game as if I were player A :D. After realizing I switched us around it felt like a real out of body experience. It may have helped me to look more critically at some of my moves. Nevertheless the following analysis is written with the correct player identity in mind, so you don't have to worry about it. Commentary is included only for noteworthy turns, not all of them.
Date of game: 19. 7. 2020
Player A: rayray243
Player B: DIN0


01. Player A opens with a decent sized city.
02. Seeing the potential, I launch an early attack.
04. I'm starting to set up for a take-over, while keeping up in point momentum.
07. Player A beats me to it and closes a city edge while preparing to sneak in their troops.
08. A proper defense on my part, simultaneous connection and cut-off.
09. Player A takes what's left of their invasion attempt and sets up an opportunity for further invasion for either player.
10. Since I draw the necessary tile I go for the offensive.
13. Player A has a very nice retaliation and barrs any further advancements in the city. Since we are both equal in points gained from this state, we both loose an interest in completing the city.
17. Player A gets a very nice road from the colateral.
19. Player A starts the first farm and it looks very promising. 9 points already with at least two near completion cities and plenty of room for growth.
23. Player A gives themselves a nice cloister, but provides me with building blocks for a great farm of my own.
24. is an interesting turn for me. I pretty much burn the tile while separating the two fields, but let's look at some other potential placements. I could claim the city at [+1;-2], but even with proper orientation the city has a lot of clutter around it and is not worth the risk. Alternative placement at [+2;-3] would no doubt promt Player A to direct the city into the unfinishable hole at [+1;-1]. The placement [0;+4]W:cccf+>S:F would ensure player A wouldn't steal the farm while unoccupied, and slightly inconvenience their city, but would result in farmer redundancy later down the game. The last thing I could have done is to use the fact I just separated the farms and place a farmer at >W:F. But since I had the meeple advantage at that point, I held out. Lastly, completing the big city would accomplish nothing, just wasted a turn while robbing me of the meeple advantage.
26. I try to work on that advantage and permanently block player A's robber...
27. ...but they retaliate.
29. Player A does not seem to care about my farm. I'm sure it won't haunt them later... >:D
30. If I can't block the road, let me join it.
32. This was probably the biggest offender on my part. I hoped using the last meeple would pay-off in this case because the city required only one tile to finish and this style of building is usually hard to attack. However I didn't realize the danger of the road branch comming from the west...
33. ...that's what I was talking about ::) we will be here for a while. Also a sneaky farm invasion - but not as sneaky as the one that's about to come later >:D
34. 35. and so begins the inadvertent (at least on my part) building of a big empty city. Advice: do not do this when you have no meeples.
36. Escape! But looking back, not choosing the obvious [-2;+1] placement was quite stupid.
39. Player A doesn't let up on my city.
41. Player A's farm invasion succesful, but will it be enough?
42. Building a farm potential for later. Player A does not have enough meeples to make use of it and they're preoccupied with other stuff. This will come in handy later.
44. Another escape.
45. Nice road for A!
47. Yet another block.
53. Things are starting to look bad over here in my city.
56 Finally! a lucky draw puts me back in the game, even though it joined the farms.
57. A good meeple management from player A, who finally took the big empty city at [-2;+1].
58. I was finally able to finish my city and make up for the point difference.
61. In the last 10 turns, this is where the real game begins! Player A finally finishes the first city with the advantage of taking the 6-point farm.
62. With newfound meeple power, I take the longest road I can find on the map.
63. Player A realizes the point lead I am taking and works toward neutralizing my additional points where possible, while maintaining the farm dominance. This however was their biggest mistake and I was about to capitalize on it.
64. I make the sneakiest attack on the big farm through the A's attempted road joining. The thing is there are no ffrr tiles left in the supply at this point. The only tile capable of the task is the last ccrr+.
65. This forces player A makes to block with the crrr tile, leaving me with the bigger chunk of the road and a hefty meeple advantage.
66. Sure enough, the very first tile I draw is ccrr+ which is now impossible to place in the intended position. I instead use my meeple advantage to take the pennant cluster at [+6;+6]. The tile pool is thinning...
67. Player A uses the ccff-J tile to extend their city. This could have been used to claim some of the empty cities with their last meeple. Even more importantly, what player A doesn't realize is they should be using it to try and block the farm invasion further because thanks to their block, there is now one more tile capable of joining the farms and that is fffr. The probability of its emergence is extremely high because of the ever-smaller tile pool (just 4 tiles at that point!).
68. Sure enough, there it is and I join the farms together taking away the huge amount of point difference and taking the cloister for good measure.
69. A's last minute cloister of their own.
70. I close a joined road neutralizing those points and place a farmer on the south field making use of those cities I mentioned earlier. All farm points are now equalized.
71. Nothing better left to do with final cfff than to add a single point to A's city. What would have been an optimal play, had they kept track of the tiles left in supply, was to use the ccff-J from turn 67. and place it like so [+5;+1]W:ccff-J, and then hope they would get the cfff tile in time to place it [+6;+1]N:cfff blocking my entrance completely.

At the end of the game, all the points left on the playing field are exactly equal between us, meaning the point difference player A was so actively trying to avert was maintained and I have won with the score 115:128!
Had they used their tiles as I suggested, player A would have been the winner with the score. 114:105 (one less point for A's city and +1 point for my would be cloister placement at [-1;-3].

This was a very interesting game. Both of us made mistakes, sometimes big ones, but clearly the most interesting and decisive play comes at nearly the end of the game. I was very pleased with the result especially because based on the BGA's ELO system, I was predicted to win only with 21% probability.
Alas, sneaky moves and knowledge of the remainig tile pool can result in a big win  :(y)

I hope you enjoyed this analysis and will try to reconstruct this game yourself and go over it to see what I am talking about each turn  :)
« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 06:33:24 PM by DIN0 »

Offline kothmann

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2022, 05:58:14 PM »
Wow, this is amazing.  Thanks!  No time tonight, but I’ll go thru it this weekend.  +1 from me for such a great effort!

Offline Bumsakalaka

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2022, 10:40:31 PM »
What a report! Nice readings

Odoslané z SM-A202F pomocou Tapatalku


Offline danisthirty

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2022, 03:27:35 AM »
Nice description. :(y)

I quite enjoy BGA's replay feature as you can literally watch any game replayed turn by turn if you have an account.

The game you describe so vividly above can be watched via this link for example: https://www.boardgamearena.com/gamereview?table=102298200

Offline DIN0

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2022, 08:00:17 AM »
Thank you all for the kind words  :gray-meeple:

Quote
I quite enjoy BGA's replay feature as you can literally watch any game replayed turn by turn if you have an account.
The game you describe so vividly above can be watched via this link for example:

Yeah, I like it too. Just keep in mind the point of these analyses is to reconstruct the game yourself and go along the comentary + suggest your own ideas opinions on the game ;)
Speaking of, has anybody had a chance to reproduce the game yet? I believe kothmann was about to get to it. 

Offline kothmann

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2022, 09:31:13 AM »
...has anybody had a chance to reproduce the game yet? I believe kothmann was about to get to it.

So, I started going through this game this morning, trying hard to take each tile without looking at placement information in the log and think about what I might do.  I wrote comments after looking at what actually happened, but mostly without looking ahead at the next move.  (A couple of times I misinterpreted the log and then had to backtrack.)  This is super fun and interesting, though it does take time to give it so much thought.  I had to stop part way through and didn't carefully proofread, because I actually have some work to do today.   :-\  Hope to go through the rest of this game soon.  I’ll post again when that happens.

Also important disclaimer: these are comments with the benefit of having minutes to think when needed  ???, and having all the remaining tiles right in front of me.  Many of the interesting decisions would definitely be tough to make in real time.

Thanks again for posting this.  Your system is definitely a great tool for learning from games.  Particularly if people are willing to add to the conversation.  Hopefully someone will disagree with some (many?) of my ideas, so I can learn from my mistakes!  >:D



03.  I don’t like [0;-1].  This will leave a city cap that B can use to score a quick 4 points.  If A plays [0;2]N:cfcf-S>N:K, the points for the south city cap might be shared with B, but there is a chance A gets all those points with a ccff-S, and at least A will share the points, instead of let B have them outright.04. Alternatives: [-1;0]S:crfr>S:K, to attack the other city.  I also think [-1;0]Ncrfr>W:R is good.  Gives away a 2-point city cap, but in exchange for avoiding a 3-point open road.  I don’t understand “keep up point momentum”?
05.  Early in the game there is no big rush to close 4-point cities?  Especially when there are so many “free” road points on the landscape?  I prefer [-1;0]W:crrf>N:R, to claim the 4-point road with a pretty easy close on the north side.  [2;1]Wcrrf>W:K, tries to win back control of what will now be a huge city.  This second idea is definitely risky, because if [1;1] becomes a hole, A will have 2 stuck meeples.
06. Good to make that open city cap harder to claim.  But having only 1 meeple on the board so early seems bad to me, so again, maybe I prefer claiming the road with [3;0]E:crrr>W:R?  (Lots of deployed meeples = lots of ways to get points on future turns?)
07.  I thought [1;1]S:ccrr-S was an automatic play here.  Both players get 1 tile added to their cities, but A keeps B from sharing the 3-net-tiles of A’s larger city.  Is the threat of B attacking from the west side of [1;2] big enough to make this play foolish?  Interesting…
08. There were a total of 16 tiles (5xccrr, 5xccff, 4xcccf, 2xcccr) that would have cut off A’s attempt to come back into this city.  More evidence that A’s play on turn 7 was not strong?
09. “Player A …and sets up an opportunity for further invasion for either player.”  Yes, this seems poor, because they give B first bite at the attack apple!  That little football city was not vulnerable, so no rush to close.  Again, get meeples on the landscape!  Something like [0;-2]S:cfff>S:K would be good.
10. This is risky for the same reasons that I mention for A placing at [2;1] in turn 5: it isn’t too hard for [2;1] to become a hole here, and then B will have 2 stuck meeples.
11. Now A has a lot (20+) that will turn [2;1] into a ccrf-hole.  B has to close that big city ASAP!  If A plays [3;0]N:ffrr>W:R, they still have the same hole-making odds, but now they also claim the road—is this too risky because it might be difficult to fill in [-1;0] (this is obvious in the current game, after the next move).
12.  Is “[-1;+1]” a typo that should be “[-1;0]”?  Is the advantage of having only a single open end on a road really worth the extra 2 points this early in the game? 
13. There are now 7 tiles that connect B to the big city, but still over 20 tiles that make [2;1] a ccrf-hole, so A could wait.  On the other hand, if B gets any cfxx or ffxx, then they place this at [3;1] and make it very likely that B eventually connects and wins, so A playing for the big-city tie here is good?  I guess so, but huge bummer for A not to have drawn one of the very many hole-making tiles here.  Here's a photo showing the big pile of dangerous tiles that A didn't get (Yellow=A, Red=B):

16Interesting.  My inclination would be to play [-2;1]S:cccr>N:K=+3B.  But I think I might be too eager to start a large open city, and should be more cautious, like this.  Hmm…
17. Finally!  :-)
18.  Did you think about [1;3]W:cfff>N:F?  That field has 3 completed cities already and that big one will get completed when someone needs meeples, or just by you to grab the farm points?  I know it is not well guarded from invasion at [4;0], and also still a bit early, but just curious for thoughts about farming at this point.
19. Haha, now a farmer.  Playing the third city on an unoccupied farm is always such a pain, because you don’t want to give up those 4 points, but you know the opponent is likely to grab the farm.  Yes, I like this farm, but I don’t love giving away a ccff+ tile to get it.  Those turn into 8-point cities very quickly.
20.  I think [0;4]W:cfcf-S>E:K is much better?  Why leave the pennant city open for A?!  Also, this creates another 3-city field with plenty of chances for A to grab it, and they now have the incentive to close the huge city and free up more meeples after playing another farmer.
22.  Again, no big rush to complete here?  That farmer seems pretty weak?  Is the plan to connect with 2 more tiles to a bigger field?  Could also try that with [3;-2]W:crrr>NE:F and then try to connect thru [4;0] and [4;1]?  I thought about attacking with [-1;5]S:crrr>S:K, but then A can just play any rfxx tile at [-1;4] to make a ccfr-hole trapping one of each meeple, with a 2-point net gain.  What about [3;-2]W:crrr>W:K, to grab the open city?  Things are getting very complex
23. Agree this is a blunder.  [3;3]N:ffff>N:M is one point less but much better.
24.  Interesting!  I agree that claiming a huge and wide-open city in the south is bad.  And completing the big shared city is terrible, because you have the meeple advantage and don’t yet have the farm in the west, while A gets the farm points for that shared city.  What about [-1;4]W:cccf+>W:K?  There are still 3xcfcf-J, 2xcccf and no cfcf-S, so he can’t finish that city in the north without sharing with you.  Furthermore, you have to be very worried that he gets a tile to play at [0;4] to claim the farm (even though he would probably have to share with you anyway).  There are 13 tiles that allow him to place a farmer and grow his city. You would cut that down to just 5 tiles, and they all would connect you to the city.

Offline kothmann

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2022, 06:02:08 PM »
As promised, here are my comments on the rest of the game.  Same disclaimers as before:
  • I didn’t proofread for mistakes.
  • This is much easier in hindsight.
  • I don’t really know what I’m talking about, having rarely played competitive 2-player games, so I’m mostly hoping to learn from anyone who might disagree with my thoughts here.

I hope you will post more interesting games.  This took several hours, but I think if I did this even once a month I would become a much better player.  Again, thanks and another +1 merit for the system and the great example.




25.  I like [-2;1]W:crrf>NE:F to secure the second farm and also give B an easy play at [-2;2] to connect to the field while also completing A’s monastery.  But I guess A wants to conserve meeples with 5 monasteries out.
26.  I expected [-2;2]E:ffrr to secure the field before A can get in.  There are 8 tiles that play at [-2;0] to create a CRFR hole at [-1;0], so I guess that’s a fair alternative?
27.  Nice defense, but now B can place a robber on a road tile at [-1;-2] with a great chance to share the large road.  Also, the monastery is more difficult to finish now.
28.  A steady stream of monasteries now would be a gold mine for B!
29.  Wow, yeah, I don’t like how A has boxed themselves in here, while just giving the farm to B.  I think closing the road at [-1;-2] would have been better here.
30.  As expected.  Interesting dynamic here.  Now both players are down to 1 free meeple, and A has the better end of the road, so only B will close it?  Note that if B has not placed cccf+ at [4;0] in turn 24, they could have now played [4;0]W:frfr>W:F and made invasion of the farm in the northeast very likely, but even if that failed, they still get at least 6 points from that farmer.
31.  I was focused on finishing the monastery at [-2;1], but I guess there are still more tiles that do that job than there are that close this nice little 8-point city.  Also B may want to play at [-2;1] to recover the robber at [-1;1].  I wonder how the game would have ended if this tile had come at turn 29.  Presumably A would have put down the farmer while closing the city, leaving themselves with a free meeple.  That is probably a huge turning point in the game.
32.  Yeah, no great options here.  Only 5 city caps left, so this might not be quick and there are 4 monasteries still to come and B needs a FFFx to finish the monastery and also now A gets another city?  I thought maybe a throw-away at [1;6]? 
33.  A does care about the big farm after all!  Now only 2 city caps and the monastery went from 6 possible completing tiles down to 2.  This was a big shift.
34.  I thought [1;6]W:cfcf+ would set up a play at [0;6] to make it tough for the farmer to join.  Actually, as I look now, I see that for B to complete their monastery, they have to join the second A farmer into the northeast field, and then it can get around the corner at [0;6] to takeover the northwest field, too.  Yikes.
35.  I like [1;-2]N:cccf to make a big empty city in the south that can definitely never be completed, so not likely to be occupied anytime soon.  This play creates a 4-point city that could still be completed so it is more dangerous.
36.  Not [-2;1]S:ccff=+9A+4B?  I think B needs to get a meeple back!?  A has a meeple, so giving one more to A doesn’t matter as much?  I suppose going from 2 to 5 tiles that complete the city in the northeast is good, but not A can place a tile at [4;4] with a northward facing city to try to invade and there are no more separating tiles to stop them!  {Read the “stupid” comment after writing this.  And I didn’t think about the simple road block that came with 39.}
37.  Again I like [1;-2]N:ccff to make a permanently incomplete city.  This dead city in the west is starting to get valuable!
39.  Rough.
42. Seems risky to build a potential farm when A has more free meeples?
44.  Still not [-2;1]?!  Hmm.  The “escape” can again be hindered, although an invasion is less likely than before.
48 Not [-1;0]?!  At present, both players will get 5 at the end of the game, but A has a meeple, so can keep racking up small gains, while B has no meeples, so it seems to me like it is much better to finish that big road?!
50.  Why connect to an existing road?!  If A draws frrr, they can immediately score 3 at [-3;4], instead of 2 anywhere else?  Playing [-2;-2]N:ffrr makes sure the big city in the west won’t close and doesn’t offer a quick 3.
51.  Was this expected, instead of the quick 3 points?  Was turn 50 an attempt to lure A away from this move?!  Wow.
53.  This feels overly defensive to me?  I suppose A wants to keep their meeple, but in trying to prevent that city from closing, A has made it big and if B draws the last ccff+ tile, even open the city is worth 10 points!  {OOPS!  I assumed the placement here was W:ccff, to ensure that a lucky draw could not close the city in one turn!?  Yikes, I think N:ccff was a big mistake?}
56.  If turn 48 had been played at [-2;1], then presumably A would have placed a meeple on either turn 51 or 53, but this turn would have been worth 9 more points and B would have 2 meeples to 1 for A?  Also, I’m really suspect of joining the farms, but I suppose B has to, in case A draws the other FFFR tile.  Wow, really complicated situation.
57.  I don’t know about placing the knight.  Save the meeple to try to invade the big city in the northeast? {I’m confused—see OOPS at turn 53}  Or get on the road in the east?  Or a farmer in the south?  This city is still unlikely to close.
58.  This is a huge swing.
63.  Yuck.  Finish the big road with a farmer in the South for a guaranteed 6 points and prevent B from getting those 6.  There are only 2 tiles to connect here and one tile that blocks, so this is a big goof.
64.  This is sneaky and totally kills the attempt by A to get onto the road (A now has to play the crrr tile to block and can’t play the ccrr tile to connect). On the other hand, for this attack to work, B has to connect A to the big road.  Playing [3;7]S:ffrr>NE:F has the same 2 critical tiles, but now if B gets the key tile, A doesn’t connect.  So interesting and very clever…
65.  Playing [5;0]W:crrr doesn’t give B the meeple back and creates a future block of the farm invasion with any of 4 tiles (2xffrr, fffr, ccrr+).  But yeah, this is probably necessary.
66.  Oh, wait!  I’m just now seeing that turn 65 still leaves B with the possibility of FFFR at [6;2] to get into the field!  Did you see this ahead of time?!  Wow.
67.  This is a blunder, for sure.  [5;1]N:ccff>W:F gives A two ways to win.  They draw the fffr tile to prevent B from joining the huge field, or they get the cfff tile to get a winning 3rd farmer in the field!
69.  If B draws the cfff tile here, they can play [5;1]N:cfff>W:F and then hope to get the ffff and play it at [6;1] to win the field.

Congratulations on a great win!

Offline DIN0

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #39 on: Today at 06:05:10 AM »
Thanks for going over this kothmann! I will go over your comments today and post some thoughts  :(y)

Offline kothmann

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Re: Project 1A: Carcassonne Game Notation
« Reply #40 on: Today at 07:54:59 AM »
I definitely went a little overboard here.  Thought it could be informative to see comments in (mostly) “real time”, meaning I don’t know what’s gonna happen.  Once you have played it is hard not to think in terms of what you know is coming.

It could be really interesting to have a live chat where a group of people walk thru a game and discuss.  But tough to organize with such a global network.

Anyway, I’ll look forward to your reply when you have time.

And maybe this weekend build a JCZ translator for your logs…(just the tile order not the play, so people can replay by themselves more easily.)


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